I had organised a couch for us to stay, we had the date to meet the people who are currently living in our future flat, and the landlady. Plus, an invitation from a nice couple from couchsurfing to have coffee at their place. I had phone numbers and addresses of all three parties and their homes. I had jotted down maps in my notebook from Googlemaps, not trusting my phone enough to rely on it solely (which was good). I had the tickets. Everything was set.
Yet, I was nervous, reeeeally nervous. I coul hardly sit still all the way on the train on Friday. I haven't found out exactly what it is that puts so much pressure on me. But I'm pretty sure it's in the way I always have very high expectations at myself when it comes to social situations. And because I am the type of person to think scenarious through I get stressed when I realise that an undertaking has a high possibility for stressful situations (f.e. being too late, not finding the place, having to deal with awkward social situations, expected lack of sleep...). I just realise that all these stressful situations are moments where I cannot live up to the expectations of a third party - back to social pressure then. I just love people and I want them to have a good experience meeting me - I want them to think that I did my best (which I normally do). And somehow, for that weekend, that made me so nervous.
It all went well though. We found our host's place no problem, he gave us the keys and went off to Lyon for the weekend. Then, despite my flimsy (and partly incorrect) map sketching and with the help of a nice person and their phone we found our future flat and spent an hour there, discussing business. The landlady seems to be nice enough, quite flexible and open. She speaks enough English and I enough French so that we can communicate. The two guys (also from couchsurfing which is how I found the place) that are leaving the flat to us are two delightful young students. - All in all: It could have been much worse.
The flat is gorgeous. It's furnished with lots of things from the landlady, so it will not be a perfect home-home, but it is about three times the size of my flat in Zürich, with two balconys, a fully equipped kitchen, a big livingroom (I'm already transforming it into a studio in my mind ^^), nice bath and generous sleeping room. It is in an estate with apparently mostly old people, and next to a primary school, so nights should be quiet enough. The two guys are leaving us their bicycles which they rented for very cheap for a year via their Uni.
|Cheese boutique and English shop - jap, it's all there.|
Montpellier is not completely flat, but certainly more bikeable than Zurich and not as big, so the bikes will be the ideal transportation. Our place is in an outer part of the town, but we walked there easily in half an hour from the train station.
On Saturday we met Pierre and Gloria, such a cute couple with one of the sweetest babies I have ever seen. We had coffee and some nice talks. They offered to help me with the job searching and I'm sure we'll be meeting often since they live only about ten minutes from our place. It's great to already have found some friends in our new home.
The town itself is completely and utterly French. The inner city is all old houses with stone-arched basements, little quirky shops, quaint alleys, palmtrees, and a huge pedestrian area. Lots of parks and interesting architecture, street cafés, bars... a cinema, some museums.
Yes, I think I will like it.